Urgent Appeal to Government of Belize re. Escalating Crime on Ambergris Caye sign now

To: Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow
Minister of Tourism Hon. Manuel Heredia

From: Deeply Concerned Citizens of Ambergris Caye

17th December, 2010

Gentlemen,

In recent weeks and months Ambergris Caye and in particular San Pedro Town have seen a rapid increase in crimes of violence, murder and theft. It is well known that most crimes on our island are as a direct or indirect consequence of illegal drugs and drug dealing.

1. Central Park in the center of San Pedro Town is no longer a tourist haven. It is Ground Zero for illicit drug pushing upon our tourist guests as well as locals. On any given night there can be dozens of drug dealers in that area openly plying their wares.

2. Several neighbourhoods on Ambergris Caye have become headquarters for drug gangs. It is known that several drug gangs operate more or less unhindered on our island. They are even starting to demand protection money from individuals and businesses. Some of the gangs are imports from other Central American countries and have illegal immigrants in their midst.

3. In the past there has been a sense that such gang and drug dealing activity is inevitable, that nothing can really be done to prevent it. The recent murders of 3 different individuals on our island prove that the only thing that is inevitable is that, if nothing serious is done, the problem will get worse, a tourist will be killed and our island will lose any remaining identity it has as a tranquil tourism haven.

4. The drug gangs and dealers cannot be depended upon to keep their violent and offensive behaviour out from public view. They have surely had their chance. More stealing, muggings and murders will be the order of the day as their activity expands. Well be singled out as a dangerous destination, tourists will stop choosing Ambergris Caye and by default the rest of Belize, we will lose our businesses, people will lose their jobs and ultimately Government will lose tax revenues. Unlike other parts of Belize, Ambergris Caye has no agriculture, no general commerce, no natural port, nothing commercially major it can fall back on if the international tourism industry boycotts Belize.

5. Our MOST URGENT request to you is that you deploy the forces necessary to eradicate this terrible problem we have. We need BDF under BDF control. If necessary we need new laws in order for the police, Dragon Force and BDF to be given the tools to rid our island of the drug dealers, the gangs, the BAD PEOPLE who will ultimately destroy all our livelihoods if they are allowed to. We need a strong Magistrate who is not afraid to jail offenders. We need new laws in order to give the security forces the right to refuse potential evildoers entry to our island. Our immigration laws need to be strictly enforced.

Yes, we have our neighbourhood watches, our crime committees, our Chamber of Commerce, our San Pedro Business Association, our Tour Guide Association.all useful organizations who do great good on our island. Yet, only the Central Government of Belize has the resources, the personnel, the weaponry as well as the law and ability to make new laws needed to seriously confront and combat this grave issue. It is the first duty of government to protect its citizens and legal residents and law abiding visitors. Please help us combat this terrible problem before it is too late.

Thanking you in advance for your timely assistance in this grave matter.

Yours Sincerely, the Undersigned, concerned citizens of Ambergris Caye, Belize.

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  • 10 August 201474. Charles B
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Kaye RichardBy:
Justice, rights and public orderIn:
Petition target:
All Concerned Citizens of Ambergris Caye

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